The Jammu & Kashmir Dispute Essay

2275 words - 9 pages

This dispute dates back to the partition of the British Indian Empire, in August 1947, into two independent states, Pakistan and India. At that time there were also around 565 princely states, large and small, which were under British suzerainty but were not directly ruled by the British Government. Most of these states joined either India or Pakistan taking into account their contiguity to one or the other country and the wishes of their people.There were, however, some states over which problems arose, primarily because of India's insatiable desire to grab territory. For example, the Muslim ruler of Junagarh, a state with a Hindu majority population, announced his decision to join Pakistan.India responded by aiding and abetting the establishment of a so-called "Provisional Government" of Junagarh on Indian territory, which attacked Junagarh with Indian connivance and support. Subsequently Indian forces also invaded Junagarh, despite protests from Pakistan, in order to "restore law and order". A farcical plebiscite was organized under Indian auspices, and India annexed Junagarh. Similarly, in Hyderabad, a Hindu majority state, the Muslim ruler of the state wanted to retain an independent status. India responded by attacking Hyderabad and annexed the state by force. India sought to justify its aggression against Hyderabad and Junagarh on the plea that the rulers of Junagarh and Hyderabad were acting against the wishes of their people.In Jammu and Kashmir state, the situation was the reverse. The ruler of the State was a Hindu, while the population was overwhelmingly Muslim and wanted to join Pakistan. In this case, India consistently pressurized the Hindu Ruler to accede to India. Apprehending that the Hindu ruler was likely to succumb to Indian pressure, the people of Jammu and Kashmir rose against him, forcing him to flee from Srinagar, the capital of the State. They formed their own government on 24th October, 1947. On 27th of October, 1947, the Government of India alleged that the ruler had acceded to India on the basis of a fraudulent instrument of accession, sent its forces into the State and occupied a large part of Jammu and Kashmir.But Indian leaders, including Jawahar lal Nehru, the Prime Minister and Lord Mountbatten, the then Governor General of India, solemnly declared that the final status of Jammu and Kashmir would be decided by the people of the State. This declaration was reiterated by India at the UN Security Council when the dispute was referred to that august body, under chapter 6 of the U.N Charter relating to peaceful settlement of disputes. The Security Council adopted a number of resolutions on the issue, providing for the holding of a fair and impartial plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir under UN auspices to enable the Kashmiri people to exercise their right of self-determination and join either Pakistan or India. The UN also deployed the United Nations Military Observer Group (UNMOGIP) to monitor the cease-fire line between...

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